Tag Archives: Megan @ WPL

Somebody That I Used To Know

It’s been argued that there are no original ideas anymore, and when you consider the number of retellings of classic or well known tales, you might be inclined to agree. However, sometimes you come across a version of a story that manages to remind you of what you liked  about the original while still presenting you with something new and exciting. Here are a few books that might have you thinking, hey, that reminds me of somebody that I used to know!

Juliet Immortal by Stacey Jay, AKA Romeo and Juliet

Juliet, after being murdered by Romeo to ensure his own immortality, has spent 700 years fighting her fickle husband for the souls of true lovers. Their battle continues until the day Juliet meets someone she’s forbidden to love, and Romeo, oh Romeo, will do everything in his power to destroy that love.

The Splintered Series by A.G. Howard, AKA Alice in Wonderland

This trilogy is a ghoulish take on the weirdness that is Wonderland, and although I never cared much for the original, this series captured my attention. It had one of the first scenes I can remember unsettling me so much I had to put a book down and walk away from it. Main character Alyssa is a descendant of the inspiration for Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland who must  pass a series of tests to fix Alice’s mistakes if she wants to save her family from their curse.

If the idea of a Dark Wonderland appeals to you, it’s well worth checking out A Blade So Black by L.L. McKinney, along with its sequel, A Dream So Dark. This Alice is trained to battle monstrous creatures in the dark dream realm known as Wonderland, yet still has to contend with curfew, an overprotective mom, a high-maintenance best friend, and a slipping GPA.

Brightly burning

Brightly Burning by Alexa Donne, AKA Jane Eyre (but in space!)

This retelling manages to keep enough of the gothic romance elements that characterize Charlotte Bronte’s novel that you recognize it, and maybe even know where it’s going, but while still bringing in new elements to keep the reader from getting bored.

Stella Ainsley leaves poverty behind when she quits her engineering job aboard the Stalwart to become a governess on the private ship, the Rochester. Unfortunately, no one warned Stella that the ship seems to be haunted, nor that it may be involved in a conspiracy that could topple the entire interstellar fleet. Surrounded by mysteries, Stella must decide whether to follow her head or her heart.

The Ravenspire Series by C.J. Redwine, AKA fairy tales

Specifically, books 1 – The Shadow Queen (Snow White) and book 4 – The Blood Spell (Cinderella). These folkloric classics become dark epic fantasies in Redwine’s hands,

shadow queen

In The Shadow Queen, Lorelai Diederich, crown princess and fugitive at large, has one mission: kill the wicked queen who took both the Ravenspire throne and the life of her father. In the neighboring kingdom, when Prince Kol’s father and older brother are killed, the second-born is suddenly responsible for saving his kingdom. But, Kol needs magic—and the only way to get it is to make a deal with the queen of Ravenspire, promise to become her personal huntsman…and bring her Lorelai’s heart.

The Blood Spell  follows Blue de la Cour. When her father is murdered and a cruel but powerful woman claims custody of Blue and her property, one wrong move could expose her–and doom her once and for all. The only one who can help? The boy she’s loathed since childhood: Prince Kellan Renard, crown prince of Balavata. Kellan must find a bride among the kingdom’s head families and announce his betrothal–but escalating violence among the families makes the search nearly impossible. When mysterious forces lead to disappearances throughout Balavata, Blue and Kellan must work together. What they discover will lead them to the darkest reaches of the kingdom, and to the most painful moments of their pasts.

Hazel wood

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert has much of the same ruthlessness that the original tales collected by the Brothers Grimm possessed. When Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales, dies alone on her estate, the Hazel Wood, Alice must venture first to the Hazel Wood, then into the world where her grandmother’s tales began—and where she might find out how her own story went so wrong.

So many books, so little time. What do you prefer, the classics in their original form, a fresh take on a beloved tale, or something entirely new?

Happy reading,

Megan

Hygge Do You do?

The other day I was talking to a friend who was overjoyed at the prospect of a cold, gloomy Sunday. Turns out that when your idea of a good time is sitting down with a stack of books, it doesn’t matter if it’s a “nice” day – it’s all good.

Are you familiar with the term hygge? (It’s pronounced hoo-ga, in case you’ve been saying it wrong all this time like I have). It became all the rage a couple years ago, although your Scandinavian friends will likely tell you they’ve known all about it for much longer than that. The word itself refers to the mood of coziness, happiness, and contentment that abounds when you’re settled into a plush armchair under a soft blanket with a cup of tea or hot chocolate while the candlelight flickers and wind howls outside.

If you’re thinking “yes, please!,” then look no further. Winnipeg Public Library has plenty of wonderful hygge-related books to get you through the season of snow with a smile!

How to Hygge by Signe Johansen

Let’s start with the basics! How to Hygge by chef and author Signe Johansen is a fresh, informative, lighthearted, fully illustrated how-to guide to hygge. It’s a combination of recipes, helpful tips for cozy living at home, and cabin porn: essential elements of living the Danish way—which, incidentally, encourages a daily dose of “healthy hedonism.” Who can resist that?

Making Winter : A Hygge-Inspired Guide to Surviving the Winter Months by Emma Mitchell

Embrace this warm-hearted philosophy with 25 creative crafts and recipes, from gorgeous trinkets to snuggly woolens and tasty treats. Make vintage ornaments, bake plum and orange blondies, crochet boot cuffs, and more–you’ll feel hygge warming you no matter how cold it is outside.

Scandinavian Comfort Food : Embracing the Art of Hygge 
by Trine Hahnemann

Trine Hahnemann is the doyenne of Scandinavian cooking, and loves nothing more than spending time in her kitchen cooking up comforting food in good company. This is her collection of recipes that will warm you up and teach you to embrace the art of hygge, no matter where you live.

The Joy of Hygge : How to Bring Everyday Pleasure and Danish Coziness into Your Life by Jonny Jackson

The Joy of Hygge is packed with recipes to warm you on a winter’s evening, craft ideas for decorating your home, and inspirational suggestions for enjoying the magic of everyday pleasures.

Live Lagom : Balanced Living, the Swedish Way by Anna Brones

Following the cultural phenomena of fika and hygge, the allure of Scandinavian culture and tradition continues in the Swedish concept of lagom. Instead of thinking about how we can work less, lagom teaches us to think about how we can work better. Lagom is about finding balance between aesthetics and function, a holistic approach for the body and mind, including connecting more in person, caring for self, managing stress, keeping active, and embracing enjoyment in daily routine. Live Lagom inspires us to slow down and find happiness in everyday balance.

And there you have it, just a few ideas to ride out the winter in comfort and style! What will you do to make the most of our Manitoba winter?

Happy reading,

Megan

Fall Forest Frolics

Ah, fall, that wonderful time of year when you can wear your sweaters and cozy socks without having to add a huge coat and boots! I love the excuse to drink copious amounts of hot chocolate and look forward to pumpkin pie and homemade applesauce. Even the commute is more enjoyable, with the trees doing their best fireworks impression.

However, despite the wonderful coziness that sets in as the days get shorter and cooler, or maybe because of it, I can never quite shake the sense of melancholy that comes along with the changing colours. Fall is such a short season here, and the long winter is right around the corner…

This is usually enough to set me to searching out slightly darker fare for my bedtime reading, and this year in particular I’ve been feeling very arboreally-focused in my selections, as you can see by my current to-read list, which I’ve shared below:

Big Lonely Doug by Harley Rustad

Originally featured as a long-form article in The Walrus that garnered a National Magazine Award (Silver), Big Lonely Doug weaves the ecology of old-growth forests, the legend of the West Coast’s big trees, and the turbulence of the logging industry.  It delves into the fight for preservation, the contention surrounding ecotourism, First Nations land and resource rights, and the fraught future of these ancient forests around the story of a logger who saved one of Canada’s last great trees.

The Hazel Wood by Melissa Albert

Seventeen-year-old Alice and her mother have spent most of Alice’s life on the road, always a step ahead of the uncanny bad luck biting at their heels. But when Alice’s grandmother, the reclusive author of a cult-classic book of pitch-dark fairy tales dies alone on her estate the Hazel Wood, Alice learns how bad her luck can really get.

 

Into the Forest by Jean Hegland

Over 30 miles from the nearest town, and several miles away from their nearest neighbor, Nell and Eva struggle to survive as society begins to decay and collapse around them. No single event precedes society’s fall. There is talk of a war overseas and upheaval in Congress, but it still comes as a shock when the electricity runs out and gas is nowhere to be found. The sisters consume the resources left in the house, waiting for the power to return. Their arrival into adulthood, however, forces them to reexamine their place in the world and their relationship to the land and each other.

The Stranger in the Woods: The Extraordinary Story of the Last True Hermit by Michael Finkel

In 1986, twenty-year-old Christopher Knight left his home in Massachusetts, drove to Maine, and disappeared into the woods. He would not have a conversation with another human being until nearly three decades later when he was arrested for stealing food. Living in a tent even in winter, he had survived by his wits and courage, developing ingenious ways to store food and water to avoid freezing to death

Hatchet by Gary Paulsen

After a plane crash, thirteen-year-old Brian spends fifty-four days in the Canadian wilderness, learning to survive with only the aid of a hatchet given him by his mother, and learning also to survive his parents’ divorce.

The Hill by Karen Bass

Jared’s plane has crashed in the Alberta wilderness, and Kyle is first on the scene. When Jared insists on hiking up the highest hill in search of cell phone reception, Kyle hesitates; his Cree grandmother has always forbidden him to go near it. There’s no stopping Jared, though, so Kyle reluctantly follows. After a night spent on the hilltop — with no cell service — the teens discover something odd: the plane has disappeared. Nothing in the forest surrounding them seems right. In fact, things seem very wrong. And worst of all, something is hunting them.

If you’re looking for a fun, in-real-life way to welcome in this spooky yet beautiful time of year, check out the Twilight Trek: A Walking Storytime in Bruce Park happening on October 23 (weather permitting!). Feel free to dress up in costume as we wander through the park sharing spooky stories in this beautiful natural setting!

What books are you reaching for this time of year? As the weather drives us inside, are you reaching for cozy, heartwarming stories, or are you eyeing up the woods next door with a shiver running up and down your spine like me? Let me know below! I’d love to hear what’s on your to-read list!

Happy reading,

Megan

 

 

 

 

Chilling Out vs Scaring Yourself Chilly

Anyone else feel like they’re melting anytime they step away from the A/C lately? Staying cool can be a bit tricky these days, but don’t fret… ice cream for dinner and spooky stories to your rescue! All you have to do is plan a stop at your friendly local (air conditioned)  library!

Book cover of The Perfect ScoopThe perfect scoop : 200 recipes for ice creams, sorbets, gelatos, granitas, and sweet accompaniments by David Lebovitz
A revised and updated edition of the best-selling ice cream book, featuring a dozen new recipes and all-new photography. This comprehensive collection of homemade ice creams, sorbets, gelatos, granitas, and accompaniments from New York Times best-selling cookbook author and blogger David Lebovitz emphasizes classic and sophisticated flavors alongside a bountiful helping of personality and proven technique. You’ll be a potluck hero!

N’ice cream : 80+ recipes for healthy homemade vegan ice creams by Virpi Mikkonen
Award-winning Finnish author Virpi and co-author Tuulia show that making your own ice cream can be easy and good for you at the same time. These recipes can be made with or without an ice cream maker, and include foolproof instant ice creams that can be savored right away. Includes recipes for ice creams, milkshakes, sorbets, ice cream cakes, sauces and more.

Ice Pops by Shelly Kaldunski
Whether you’re looking for a sweet surprise for a summer barbecue, an innovative cocktail party finale, or an afternoon snack for kids, ice pops are an easy treat for all to enjoy. Packed with luscious photographs and endless inspiration, this book shows how satisfying it is to make ice pops at home.

But what if popsicles and ice cream aren’t your thing? No problem. Get out of the city and head to the cool and shady forest! Doesn’t that water look so nice and refreshing? Better be careful though, because sometimes communing with nature means you learn things you were better off not knowing. Check out these titles and scare yourself chilly!

Before I Go by Marieke Nijkamp
When Corey moves away from Lost Creek, Alaska, she makes her friend Kyra promise to stay strong during the long, dark winter, and wait for her return. Just days before Corey is to return home to visit, Kyra dies. The entire Lost community speaks in hushed tones, saying her death was meant to be. And they push Corey away like she’s a stranger. With every hour, Corey’s suspicion grows. Lost is keeping secrets–but piecing together the truth about what happened to her best friend may prove as difficult as lighting the sky in an Alaskan winter.

Still Water by Amy Stuart
A mysterious disappearance at High River brings Clare to the stormy riverside town where people go to hide from their past. ally Proulx and her son had found refuge with Helen Haines, a matriarch with a tragic past who provides safety for women fleeing abuse. A week ago, they both went missing. Clare turns up and starts asking questions. Did Sally drown? Did her son? Was it an accident, or is their disappearance part of something bigger?

 

Campfire Ghost Stories by Jo-Anne Christensen
This entertaining collection of great campfire ghost stories, whether read alone or aloud, is sure to raise the hair on the back of your neck. Are you brave enough to read these out in the woods alone?

Let me know below which camp you fall into… do you prefer A/C and ice cream, or will you be scaring yourself chilly?

Happy reading!

– Megan (#TeamIceCream)

Walk this Way

Before the last of the snow and ice melted from our sidewalks, my brother was in town for a short visit. We went out for dinner, then back to my apartment. I took off my shoes and plopped down on the couch, expecting him to do that same, but instead of sitting, he began to walk laps around my apartment. Turns out, he’s been trying to walk that magical 10,000 steps every day, and he hadn’t been able to hit his step count for the day yet.

This got me thinking about why we walk. Walking is a long-venerated tradition, especially amongst those with a creative bent. William Wordsworth, Henry David Thoreau, Beethoven, Steve Jobs, many of Jane Austen’s characters… it seems as though walking not only gets the heart pumping, but also the creative juices flowing!

Some people walk for their health (physical and mental!), and others love walking as a cost-effective and eco-friendly form of locomotion. Whatever your reason for walking might be (destroying the One Ring, maybe?) Winnipeg Public Library has many books to get you moving and inspire your own epic journey this summer!

walking Walking by Henry David Thoreau

A meandering ode to the simple act and accomplished art of taking a walk. Profound and humorous, companionable and curmudgeonly, Walking, by America’s first nature writer, is your personal and portable guide to the activity that, like no other, awakens the senses and the soul to the “absolute freedom and wildness” of nature.

 

Walking: A Complete Guide to Walking for Fitness, Health and Weight Loss by John Stanton

As the founder and president of Walking/Running Room, North America’s largest chain of special stores for walkers and runners, John Stanton has inspired people across the nation to develop healthier lifestyles one step at a time. In this book, you’ll learn how to set realistic goals, design your own training program, find the level of walking that’s right for you, choose the best shoes and walking wear for your needs, prevent and treat common injuries, and enhance your walking with optimum nutrition!

philosophy A Philosophy of Walking by Frédéric Gros

Frédéric Gros charts the many different ways we get from A to B — the pilgrimage, the promenade, the protest march, the nature ramble — and reveals what they say about us. Gros draws attention to other thinkers who also saw walking as something central to their practice. On his travels he ponders Thoreau’s eager seclusion in Walden Woods; the reason Rimbaud walked in a fury, while Nerval rambled to cure his melancholy. He shows us how Rousseau walked in order to think, while Nietzsche wandered the mountainside to write. In contrast, Kant marched through his hometown every day, exactly at the same hour, to escape the compulsion of thought. Brilliant and erudite, A Philosophy of Walking is an entertaining and insightful manifesto for putting one foot in front of the other.

howtowalk How to Walk by Thich Nhat Hanh

Zen Master Thich Nhat Hanh introduces beginners and reminds seasoned practitioners of the essentials of mindfulness practice. Slow, concentrated walking while focusing on in- and out-breaths allows for a unique opportunity to be in the present. There is no need to arrive somewhere—each step is the arrival to concentration, joy, insight, and the momentary enlightenment of aliveness. When your foot touches the Earth with awareness, you make yourself alive and the Earth real, and you forget for one minute the searching, rushing, and longing that rob our daily lives of awareness and cause us to “sleepwalk” through life.

The Man Who Learned to Walk Three Times: A Memoir by Peter Kavanagh

Throughout his life, as he developed a very successful career in public broadcasting, built a family, and indulged in his love of music and travel, Kavanagh underwent various surgeries and rehabilitation to give him “normal” mobility after being diagnosed with paralytic polio as an infant. The Man Who Learned to Walk Three Times is a moving memoir of a full life, and of learning the same lesson over and over.

And here’s a walking pro-tip from one walker to another: downloaded audiobooks from Overdrive are a fabulous way to get through your summer reads list while getting that step count up! Grab your headphones, slip on the sneakers, and enjoy that sunshine! Just don’t forget the sunscreen.

Happy reading,

Megan

A Collection of Love-ly Books

Well, here we are, mid-February already! I know it’s been cold and windy, but every day we are just a bit closer to spring. Spring means sunshine, flowers, and the start of wedding season! Cue the bells!

Holidays like Christmas, New Year’s, and Valentine’s Day are all big moments for wedding proposals, so there is a good chance that you might be receiving a save the date sometime in the near future (or maybe you’re the one sending them out… in which case, congrats!)

Now, the library loves love (have you seen our romance collection?), so don’t you worry, we have your back when it comes to all things weddings! Here are just a few of our newer titles to get you started:

knot  The Knot Yours Truly: Inspiration and Ideas to Personalize Your Wedding by Carley Roney

A great choice for those who want every detail and aspect of the wedding to be just as special and unique as the couple tying the knot! You’ll find lots of inspiration in these pages.

 

 

stonefox Stone fox bride : love, lust, and wedding planning for the wild at heart by Molly Guy

If you’re a fan of non-traditional, uber-personalized weddings, this book is a great place to look for advice and reassurance when the planning gets to be too much!  Less focused on how to actually plan a wedding, the author shares some personal stories and rounds it out with some beautiful images that are sure to get your imagination and creativity flowing.

 

Equally wed : the ultimate guide to planning your LGBTQ+ wedding by Kristen Ott equallyPaladino

Looking for some help with the step-by-steps of wedding planning? Palladino has you covered, walking you through the latest wedding trends and providing some sample budgets (US prices) to help you get a sense of how much your dream wedding could cost!

 

 

The wedding book : an expert’s guide to planning your perfect day–your way by Mindy weddingWeiss

Weiss walks you through just about everything in this multi-tasking title, from announcing the engagement–including whom to tell first and what to do when someone isn’t happy about the news–to getting to the altar, from planning a honeymoon to preserving the bouquet when you return. It includes lists, schedules, budgeting tools, and timelines.

 

newlywed The newlywed cookbook : cooking happily ever after by Roxanne Wyss and Kathy Moore

Who amongst us doesn’t like the sound of no-fail recipes? This book aims to help you get the most out of those wedding registry appliances, and comes filled with lovely pictures and tasty recipes, just for two. It also includes a helpful “Kitchen and Pantry Basics” section towards the back, so it’s easy to make sure your kitchen is well-stocked and ready to go.

 

marthastewart Martha Stewart’s newlywed kitchen : recipes for weeknight dinners & easy, casual gatherings

Looking for more cooking inspo? You can’t go wrong with a little help from Martha Stewart herself. She’s got you covered from quick dinners to brunches to parties of all kinds!

 

So there you are, just a few places to get your walk down the aisle started! Of course, this just barely scratches the surface of what we have available, so make sure to come in and have a look or scan through our online catalogue!

Wishing you a happily ever after,

Megan

Haunted by the Ghost(writer)

The ghostwriter in its natural habitat. Source: http://ow.ly/bepV30fwVZp

Have you ever walked by a shelf in the library and wondered how on earth a particular author has managed to write so many books? *cough* James Patterson *cough*

Before you start to feel like you’re falling behind in the face of such output, though, let’s consider the figure lurking in the dark behind the big name: the ghostwriter, a skilled writer who will do a significant amount of wordsmithing while signing over credit to the person whose face and name will be attached to the book/email/social media post.

Ghostwriters are nothing new to the publishing industry, and can be called in for a number of different reasons. Perhaps, like Tom Clancy, the author has simply become too popular to keep up with demand. Another example of this situation is George Takei, who has a ghostwriter for his Facebook posts. Other times, a ghostwriter will work with someone whose expertise may lie in another area (think politicians or businesspeople). While they may have the insight and information to share, it is the ghostwriter who polishes and presents it to the public!

Ghostwritten Books

Goosebumps by R.L. Stine
As this creepy series became popular, it spawned a number of spin-off series as well, and R.L. just couldn’t keep up with the demand. Cue the reinforcements! A number of authors contributed to the series to ensure young readers could stay up late into the night, reading books that would make the hair on the back of their neck stand up.

The Babysitter’s Club by Ann M. Martin

Recognize the name Peter Lerangis? Known for penning some of the books from the 39 Clues series, as well as the Seven Wonders series, Lerangis wrote a number of well-known titles from The Babysitter’s Club, as well as some of the Sweet Valley books, usually credited to Francine Pascal.

Many of V.C. Andrews’ books were ghostwritten, H.P. Lovecraft did a stint ghostwriting for Harry Houdini, and even Ian Fleming had some help with the James Bond books!

 

Ghostwriting Books

With so much power behind the scenes, it’s not surprising that some authors have turned the tables to explore the world of ghostwriters themselves. Here are just a couple:

Ghostwritten by Isabel Wolff

Jenni loves her job as a ghostwriter – it satisfies her insatiable curiosity about people. It also means that she can hide behind the stories of others and not think about her own life too much. But when Jenni starts work on the memoirs of a survivor of the Japanese internment camps in Java, striking coincidences force her to examine her own past.

Ghosted by Shaughnessy Bishop-Stall

Mason, a struggling writer, comes in from the cold after five years of drifting. His childhood friend, Chaz, a small-time gangster, loans him an apartment and finds him a job selling hotdogs. But instead of getting his act together, Mason digs himself even more deeply in debt to Chaz.

Then Mason has a bright idea. He’ll find the cash to pay Chaz back by becoming a ghostwriter of suicide notes, a fitting use of his talents. The trouble is that Mason is hard-wired to rescue people, and no one needs rescuing more than the suicidal.

 

Are there any authors here that surprise you? Or maybe someone I missed that you think is worth a mention? Let me know in the comments below!

Happy reading,

Megan

Summer Spooktacle

Summer is a time of sunshine, sand, ice cream, and s’mores around the campfire. There is nothing quite like sitting around a toasty fire while staring up at the stars, listening to the rustling of the wind in the trees while someone tells a scary story.

If you want to keep the spooky times rolling even after your summer vacation is over (if you ask me, it’s never too early to start getting ready for Halloween!), check out items in the list below, guaranteed to bring that campfire feeling into your home! Maybe leave the fire outside, though.

 The Curse of the Wendigo by Nick Yancey

In book 2 of the Monstrumologist series, Dr. Warthrop is asked by his former fiancée to rescue her husband from the Wendigo, a creature that starves even as it gorges itself on human flesh, which has snatched him in the Canadian wilderness. Although Warthrop considers the Wendigo to be fictitious, he relents and rescues her husband from death and starvation, and then sees the man transform into a Wendigo. Can the doctor and Will Henry hunt down the ultimate predator, who, like the legendary vampire, is neither living nor dead, whose hunger for human flesh is never satisfied?

If you’ve never encountered the Wendigo in your reading, it’s well worth checking this one out. It’s one of the creepiest folkloric creatures I’ve run into in my reading adventures!

Sparrow Hill Road by Seanan McGuire

Speaking as someone who recently missed a turn and then found herself driving on a deserted highway surrounded by marsh, and then on a lonely dirt road through endless cornfields, all under a partially cloud-covered full moon, it’s no stretch of the imagination to think that you might see a ghostly figure along the side of the road.

Haunted highways are a classic amongst urban legends. You might recognize some of these popular titles: the Girl in the Diner. The Phantom Prom Date. The Girl in the Green Silk Gown.

In fact, in Sparrow Hill Road, she just goes by “Rose,” a hitchhiking ghost girl with her thumb out and her eyes fixed on the horizon, trying to outrace a man who never sleeps, never stops, and never gives up on the idea of claiming what’s his. She’s the angel of the overpass, she’s the darling of the truck stops, and she’s going to figure out a way to win her freedom.

If you’re feeling brave, feel free to bring this along as your next road trip read!

Rolling in the Deep by Mira Grant

Killer mermaids and ghost ships, anyone?

When the Imagine Network commissioned a documentary on mermaids, they expected what they had always received before: an assortment of eyewitness reports that proved nothing, some footage that proved even less, and the kind of ratings that only came from peddling imaginary creatures to the masses. They didn’t expect actual mermaids. They certainly didn’t expect those mermaids to have teeth.

As a novella, this book is a nice, quick read, perfect for the beach!

And if you enjoy this one, keep an eye out for the next book in the series, Into the Drowning Deep.

Gravity Falls by Alex Hirsch

Twelve year-old twins Dipper and Mabel Pines are off to spend the summer with their gruff Great Uncle (‘Grunkle’) Stan who runs the tacky tourist trap, ‘Mystery Shack.’ The kids uncover mysterious surprises, unsurpassed silliness, and supernatural shenanigans lurking around every corner of the deceptively sleepy little town.

This is a fun series for younger fans of things that go bump in the night, and you just can’t go wrong with shenanigans!

Supernatural

This television series got its start in the folklore and myths that created all of the really great campfire tales. The main characters, brothers Sam and Dean Winchester, seek out and fight supernatural forces in an attempt to find their mysteriously missing father and the person or force responsible for their mother’s death. In the process, you’ll meet recognizable characters, some of whom have already appeared on this list, such as the Phantom Traveler and the Wendigo.

These are just a few of the spooky stories we have at the library, so don’t worry horror fans, you won’t run out!

Maybe you’ve got some other favourite tales that you like to share with friends. If so, leave a comment below, I’d love to know what they are!

Happy reading,

Megan

What is Reality?

confabulistAt the January 17 meeting of the St. James-Assiniboia Library book club, Stephen Galloway’s The Confabulist was up for discussion.

Throughout the book, the concept of reality is constantly called into question, and this resulted in a wonderful, lively debate regarding all the nuances implicit in the term. How much of reality is up for negotiation? Do we all experience the same reality, or does it depend entirely upon an individual’s perception of the world around them? If two people experience the same event, but perceive it differently, whose reality is “correct”?

Big questions for a Tuesday night, let me tell you!

Despite our best efforts, we never quite managed to pin down what reality is or is not, but there are no shortage of books in the Winnipeg Public Library catalogue that explore this same question. Some are “New Age” guides to finding your true self, others focus on the physics of it all, virtual and alternate realities are rampant (not to mention reality TV), and even the act of reading is considered a way of altering reality!

Here are just a few titles to start you on the road to reality:

universeYou are the Universe: Discovering Your Cosmic Self and Why it Matters by Deepak Chopra literally means what it says–each of us is a co-creator of reality extending to the vastest reaches of time and space. This seemingly impossible proposition follows from the current state of science, where outside the public eye, some key mysteries cannot be solved even though they are the very issues that define reality itself.

 

White spacewhite by Ilsa Bick involves a seventeen-year-old girl jumping between the lines of books and into the white space where realities are created and destroyed–but who may herself be nothing more than a character written into being from an alternative universe.

 

 

magic The Magic of Reality: How We Know What’s Really True by Richard Dawkins exemplifies how magic takes many forms. Supernatural magic is what our ancestors used in order to explain the world before they developed the scientific method. The ancient Egyptians explained the night by suggesting the goddess Nut swallowed the sun. The Vikings believed a rainbow was the Gods’ bridge to earth. The Japanese used to explain earthquakes by conjuring a gigantic catfish that carried the world on its back–earthquakes occurred each time it flipped its tail. These are magical, extraordinary tales. But there is another kind of magic, and it lies in the exhilaration of discovering the real answers to these questions. It is the magic of reality–science.

 

mirrorSymmetry is the unsung great idea behind all the big physics of the past one hundred years – and what lies ahead. In the superbly illustrated book The Universe in the Rearview Mirror: How Hidden Symmetries Shape Reality  Dave Goldberg makes mind-bending science not just comprehensible but exhilarating. Fasten your seat belt. Objects may indeed be closer than they appear.

 

 

zendegi

In a near-future world, a scientist develops artiticial intelligences called proxies who mingle with humans in the virtual world of Zendegi, created by Greg Egan. After a journalist finds out he might not live long enough to raise his son, he becomes obsessed with finding a way to make a proxy of himself to take care of his son.

 

 

bites

Nearly every night on every major network, “unscripted” (but carefully crafted) “reality” TV shows routinely glorify retrograde stereotypes that most people would assume got left behind 35 years ago. In Reality Bites Back: The Troubling Truth About Guilty Pleasure TV media critic Jennifer L. Pozner aims a critical, analytical lens at a trend most people dismiss as harmless fluff.

 

 

virtualVirtual Freedom: How to Work with Virtual Staff to Buy More Time, Become More Productive, and Build Your Dream Business by Chris Ducker is a step-by-step guide every entrepreneur needs to build his or her business with the asset of working with virtual employees. Focusing on business growth, Ducker explains every detail you need to grasp, from figuring out which jobs you should outsource to finding, hiring, training, motivating, and managing virtual assistants.

 

Keep it real, my friend. Happy reading!

–Megan

Long summer days, hot summer nights

There’s a reason summer is constantly immortalized in books, songs, movies and memories. With the sun shining through the branches of trees swaying in the wind while happy little clouds a la Bob Ross float on by overhead, every magical moment seems full of possibility. Being able to walk out the door without being weighed down by winter woolens doesn’t hurt either. However, summer is a limited time offer, so here are some ideas to help you make the most of it!

Get Outside and Explore

It isn’t always easy to get in touch with your wild side, but if you’re thinking about getting lost while finding yourself in the great outdoors, check out the titles below for places to go, things to do, and tasty treats to keep you fueled up for the adventures ahead.

wild

The down and dirty guide to camping with kids : how to plan memorable family adventures & connect kids to nature

Manitoba wild : scenic secrets of Manitoba

Camping activity book for families : the kid-tested guide to fun in the outdoors

Handy dad in the great outdoors : more than 30 super-cool projects and activities for dads and kids

The new trailside cookbook : 100 delicious recipes for the camp chef

The great outdoors cookbook : adventures in cooking under the open sky

Don’t you worry if the forecast is looking a little gloomy. We’ve got you covered on rainy days as well! Stay inside and get cozy watching one of our streaming movies or TV shows on hoopla, or catch up on your TBR (To Be Read) pile (check out our newest titles here). Rainy days are also a great time to try a DIY!

sticky

Sticky fingers : DIY duct tape projects

The quick & easy home DIY manual

I spy DIY style : find fashion you love and do it yourself

Mason jar crafts : DIY projects for adorable and rustic decor, clever storage, inventive lighting and much, much more

High-tech DIY projects with 3D printing tree

Tree craft : 35 rustic wood projects that bring the outdoors in

 

Whatever you decide to do with your summer, have fun and stay safe! Remember your sunscreen and your water bottle, and when you’re really feeling the heat, don’t forget that you can come to any of Winnipeg Public Library’s twenty branches to cool off in our air conditioned buildings and find a few inspirational books of your own!

Megan